Pope Francis has decided to live in two rooms in the Domus Santa Marta residence, next to St Peter's, instead of the grand papal apartment on the top floor of the Vatican's Apostolic Palace, Vatican spokesman Fr Frederico Lombardi confirmed yesterday.
For more than a hundred years, every pope has occupied the palatial penthouse which has more than a dozen rooms, staff quarters, a terrace and extensive views over the city of Rome. (According to unconfirmed reports circulating around the Rome press, when Pope Francis first saw the apartment, he said: "you could fit 300 people in here!")
About half of the 106 suites and 22 single rooms in the Domus Santa Marta are occupied by Vatican staff, who had to move out to accommodate visiting cardinals during the Conclave.
Pope Francis will take his meals in the communal dining room together with other visiting priests and permanent residents.
He will continue using the papal library on the second floor of the Apostolic palace for receiving official guests and will appear on Sundays at the window used by previous popes to address pilgrims in St Peters Square.
When he was archbishop of Buenos Aires, Pope Francis also refused to move into the Bishop's Palace and instead took a small flat. He also often cooked his own meals.